INNOVATIVE PUBLIC ART COMES TO NINTH AVENUE IN THE HISTORIC MEATPACKING DISTRICT
August 8, 2015
MEATPACKING DISTRICT – Today, the Meatpacking District Improvement Association (MPIA) announced the installation of an interactive public art piece at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and 13th Street in Manhattan’s historic Meatpacking District. The installation will feature a multi-image lenticular display to conceal a shipping container that will be used to store equipment and materials during a period of City-mandated construction on Ninth Avenue. Beginning on October 1, the project is the result of an agreement between the contract for the ninth avenue construction, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the MPIA and is expected to continue for 24 months.
“With this project, we are transforming what is otherwise an eyesore into part of the striking, yet also complimentary, landscape of contrasts that define the Meatpacking District,” said Lauren Danziger, Executive Director of the MPIA. “Throughout its long history, this neighborhood has reinvented itself many times over; we are proud to use the construction on Ninth Avenue as opportunity to bring more art to the area for New Yorkers to enjoy.”
MPIA plans to swap out the artwork for a new piece every 2-3 months and views this as a community based project. The ability to use the former public space for an innovative art installation that can be curated by members of the community and showcase local artists is exactly what the MPIA believes is one of the purposes of the DOT’s public plaza program.
The first artist is local muralist and industrial designer Kiji McCafferty, aka Mr. Kiji. Kiji worked with the MPIA to come up with the idea of using a lenticular to portray the underlying theme of the project, which is contrast. Subsequent installations will be curated by locals including Ivy Brown, long-time Meatpacking gallery owner and one of the few legal residents of the area, The High Line, The Whitney Museum and Fotofoam. The MPIA will also run an open call for local artists to participate.
In recent years, the Meatpacking District has transformed from primarily a nightlife center into a multi-faceted neighborhood where art and culture, technology, food and hospitality and fashion and design converge. The neighborhood is home to attractions such as the relocated Whitney, High Line, and Chelsea Market; tech firms like Google and Palentir; and leading clothing brands such as Diana Von Furstenberg, Theory, and Rag & Bone to name a few.
The Meatpacking District is an epicenter of city life; New Yorkers seeking quality dining, music and atmosphere flock to the neighborhood. Yet the area retains its historic character through its architecture and cobblestone streets, as well as with its eclectic mix of businesses, nearby community of active residents, and visitors from every part of New York City and the world. This project is a wonderful attraction to add to the mix of already happening businesses and activities in the area.